Plantar Fasciitis Shoes and Footwear
My Experience with Plantar Fasciitis, What It Is and How It’s Treated
My experiencePeople face different obstacles in life every day. Each person and his/her experience is unique, and some might consider my issues to be really silly and manageable (and from their point of view they’re not wrong), but there might be other that are experiencing the same thing I’ve been living with for the past 3 years and could actually use the information I can give them, both from personal and professional experience.
For as long as I can remember I’ve spent my morning running. There’s nothing like it. Every morning I get up, I put on my running gear, and I go for a run. I love observing the world while it (and I) is waking up. Every day it’s completely different and I at this point I can’t imagine a different way to start my day.
So, you can imagine it was not easy for when I first started noticing the pain in the morning of after a long rest (one of the most common symptoms of Plantar Fasciitis). Not only because of my morning jogs, but also because in my line of work (I’m a registered nurse), you’re on your feet. A lot. And being distracted by this pain while I was working was preventing me from providing the best possible care to my patients.
Plantar Fasciitis, which turns out, is what the pain was, was not new to me, but until then it was something other people deal with, something the doctors sometimes mention, and a memory of something I studied about in Nursing school.
So, once I’ve come to terms that Plantar Fasciitis is now a part of my life, I started researching. Why does it appear? Does it ever go away? Should I get surgery? What can I do to get rid of the pain?
At this point, I once again discovered what a great thing the Internet is. Not too long into my research, I had the basic info, and I knew how I wanted to proceed.
Plantar Fasciitis and How to Treat It
- Plantar Fasciitis happens because the tension in your arch gets too high and starts causing small tears in the ligament, which results in the pain you are feeling in your heel. There are many reasons why this can happen; it can be because you’re on your feet a lot, or because you are running long distances. It can also be due to your body weight, or because you’re wearing inappropriate shoes.
- Does it go away? Yes, it does. It’s not overnight, but it does. However, the same way you can get a cold over and over again if you run around in your underwear and with wet hair when it’s freezing cold outside, it can re-appear.
- Although surgery is an option, it’s the last resource. There are many other non-surgical Plantar Fasciitis treatments, such as physical therapy, using Plantar Fasciitis night splints, orthotics, etc.
There is a lot of information out there, if you’d like to go into more detail, I invite you to check the articles I read and linked above, so you can be aware of what is going on with your foot and make the best decision for your situation.
What I focused on most is on find a solution that worked for me. And it wasn’t all that hard to figure it out. What’s the first thing a person that’s on his/her feet all day long and also runs quite a distance every morning should think about improving? Yes, you’re right. Footwear.
Now, when I say footwear, I’m not talking just about running shoes or shoes I wear to work. If you’re curious about this, you should think about everything you put on your feet. I know it sounds a bit drastic, but if you’re like me, and you don’t wear shoes when you’re at home, then you need slippers to walk around your house. Or if you’ve taken up swimming, you’ll need flip-flops. In the summer not many people want to wear the same shoes they spend their winters in, so you’ll need sandals. See where I’m going with this?
Maybe you don’t want to buy a bunch of new pairs of shoes; not everybody can afford something like this. Then you could consider getting insoles to use with the shoes you already have. One thing you should consider here – you should be wearing insoles on both feet, basically due to balance (if you have the insole in only one shoe, you’ll change your balance center, and, yes, it will help with your Plantar Fasciitis, but it can cause other issues as a result).
The only time we don’t need shoes is when we sleep. Which is when I use night splints, which helps me stretch the arches of my feet when I sleep.
It’s easy to understand why I do all of this. You see, if Plantar Fasciitis is caused by too much tension in the arch of my foot, then I have to give it enough support to relieve any possible tension
How Do I Choose My Footwear For Painful feet?
Up until now when you went to buy a new pair of shoes, sandals or any footwear, I guess you thought they have to be comfortable, beautiful, a certain style and maybe that they should match your wardrobe. Which is great. But now you need more!
You need to find high-quality footwear that fits you perfectly and doesn’t wear out after a month. Here are some things I always look for:
- Extra cushioning. You need this to give the additional support your arch needs.
- The perfect fit. If your toes are squished, if the straps of your sandals are too uncomfortable, or if your foot is dancing around in the shoe, to name a few, don’t buy it!
- Some technology that focuses on shock absorption. This helps since it soothes the impact on your heel at every step.
- Avoid high heels. Yes, ladies, this goes to you. High heels can cause you, even more, pain since they don’t provide the same support and stability low-heeled shoe does.
- Look for stability. Taking shoe in your hands and bending it, If it folds in two with no resistance, stay away from it, most likely it won’t provide you with the support you need.
- This makes perfect sense, doesn’t it? If wearing worn out shoes can be one of the factors that cause Plantar Fasciitis, then you need your shoes to last! Check the materials that are used in the product, look for reviews online if you’re not sure; some footwear even comes with a guarantee, which tends to be a good sign.
Once you start trying on different pairs, you’ll most probably come up with some more criteria of your own. There are the main points I focus on, but there’s always something extra you notice with every shoe. Just try on as many as you need to, to find the perfect one for you.
And, please, don’t think that just because you’re looking for a specific type of footwear, everything will be ugly and that just by looking at the products it will hurt your eyes. There are more and more people with the need of a good shoe, and the companies know it. Your shoe can be perfect for your Plantar Fasciitis and fit your business attire perfectly!
So, as you can imagine, I’ve done a fair share of research and trying on different shoes, slippers and flip flops. If you’re not sure where and how to begin, keep on reading, I’ve made a list of the footwear I think are great for everyone dealing with Plantar Fasciitis.
Although it’s something we do every single day, walking can be hard when you feel a stabbing pain in your foot. An in inappropriate footwear, the impacts on your arches can be too big to ignore. Which causes tension to your arch, which then can cause tears in your ligament.Which means that you need shoes that protect your foot from this impact and at the same time feel comfortable and provides overall stability.
Plantar Fasciitis Men’s Shoes
Asics is well known of its high-support shoe and this 21st generation Kayano shoe brings together all the research, development, technology and design the company worked on in the previous 20 Kayanos.
There are many things that make this shoe a great option for runners or runners-to-be with Plantar Fasciitis.
To name just a few, there’s the Dynamic DuoMax Support, which focuses on stability and comfort to prevent any unnecessary and excessive tension to your arch.
Also, Asics developed FluidFit to make the shoe fit to your foot and not the other way around.
TheRearfoot and Forefoot GEL Cushioning System absorbs the impact of your steps. This means you can run in the city and hardly notice the hard surface.
And to keep your foot following its natural gait you can always count on Gait-enhancing Guidance Trusstic System.
But that’s not all… There are some other pros I’d like to mention, followed with some con’s (let’s face it, there have to be some cons too!).
- Ortholite X-40 Sockliner, so you don’t feel like you’re running in wet shoes.
- Great for long distance running on any surfaces.
- Shock absorbing technology.
- Guides the foot to follow its natural gait.
- A great variety of colors.
- Not very wallet-friendly. I’m sure many will find it to be very expensive, and I completely understand you!
Brooks Men’s Adrenaline GTS 15 Running Shoe
Brooks Adrenaline 15 are not the first of its kind. It has 14 predecessors, and the team behind the 15 put all of their knowledge and experience into this fantastic, comfortable and stable shoe.
To start off, Brooks is using its own BioMoGo DNA Material on the entire length of the foot, which was developed to assure a comfortable and safe experience every step of every one of your running sessions.
Then there’s the Full-length Segmented Crash Pad, which ensures an easy transition from heel to toe, following the foot’s natural gait, and also absorbs the impacts.
To further increase the overall control and stability, Brooks also decided to incorporate a brand new feature, called Progressive Diagonal Rollbar. This is great especially for those who pronate during their running.
Here’s a short pros and cons list to complete short product introductions:
- Cushioning that adapts to your foot, thanks to BioMoGo DNA midsole, providing excellent arch support.
- Made to last, thanks to HPR Plus technology.
- The textile materials keep the foot drier than other shoes.
- Amazing on hard surfaces and perfect for long distances.
- They are expensive than many other running shoes appropriate for runners with Plantar Fasciitis.
Plantar Fasciitis Women’s Shoes
This is an excellent option when it comes to high-support shoe women can use if you have Plantar Fasciitis.
One of the materials that are used in the shoe is called PowerGrid, and its main purpose is to provide that extra cushioning you need to run without worries.
To provide the best fit possible, Saucony used FlexFilm, a material that reduces the need for stitching. This makes the shoe adapt better to your foot and enhances the overall comfort.
The company developed SRC Impact Zone Technology to protect the foot every time it hits the ground. It also works as a guidance system, since it keeps your foot balanced and following its natural movement.
And, to complete this summary of everything this shoe has to offer, here’s a short list of the pros and the cons:
- The SRC Impact zone extends from heels to toes.
- The use of iBR+ Technology means this shoe is made to last.
- Extra cushioning using Powergrid – a lightweight material.
- Lightweight shoe.
- Perfect if you want to go for a long run on a hard surface.
- They’re on the more expensive side (thank God for sales!).
New Balance Women’s 990V3 Running Shoe
All of New Balance’s wisdom, knowledge, recourses and technology that were obtained when working on 990V3’s predecessors were poured into this amazing women’s running shoe.
New Balance uses its ownAbzorb Cushioning and technology, which (as the name implies) absorbs the impacts and protects your midfoot.
Another feature that was developed for support and cushioning purposes is Encap. This, in combination with Abzorb Cushioning, protects and supports your foot to give the best possible running experience.
The upper part, a mixture of leather and mesh, is extremely comfortable and combined with the rest of the features wraps this shoe up into a perfect option for runners with Plantar Fasciitis. It is one of the best plantar fasciitis shoes from new balance
So, if we go over the features, and add a few more details to the list, we can get a list of pros and cons:
- The Dual-density Collar further enhances the support and comfort, by mixing soft and firm density foam exactly where the foot needs it.
- Made in the USA (for those who take into high regard the origin of your shoe).
- Reflective details to assure visibility.
- Made to last.
- The price. Let’s just say; it’s up there…
Ok, so we went over the shoes. Imagine it’s beautiful Saturday morning, you went for your run in your brand new shoes (and that was amazing), and now you’re home, and most likely you’ll stay at the house all day long. Which means you’ll need slippers since (let’s be honest) it’s not comfortable to be putting on shoes every time you get up from the sofa to do something.
Just because you’re home and relaxed, it doesn’t mean you can forget about your Plantar Fasciitis. On the contrary, since the pain is at its worst right after you wake up or after you’ve been resting for a while, it’s that much more important to have a good set of slippers by your side to take those first, uncomfortable steps.
Plantar Fasciitis Men’s Slippers
There are many reasons why this specific slipper made it to my suggestions list.
What I love about them the most is that they are extremely adjustable. And I mean that quite literally. The upper part has an adjustable strap, which you can loosen or tighten.
Also, they have a great insole which helps your foot by providing it excellent cushioning and support for your arch. And the most awesome part about this? It’s removable.
Orthofeet developed Ergonomic Stride, which is incorporated in the sole and help with your foot’s natural gait. It’s so good that it propels your foot upwards into your next step.
There are no pressure points. By this, I mean that when you’re wearing the slippers, you don’t feel the stitches or the points where different elements of the product combine.
- It’s a slip-on slipper. Which means you can put them on or off without even looking.
- Since they have a rubber sole, you can go outside to get the mail without a problem.
- The outer part is made up of genuine leather, which speaks to the product’s durability.
- The lining is warm and comfortable.
- They are a bit expensive for a slipper. To be honest, to pay as much for a slipper as I do for shoes, was unheard to me before I started my research.
Spenco Men’s Supreme SlipperAnother great men’s slipper is the Spenco Supreme.
Compression Molded EVA Total Support Footbed is one of the best features of this, which is what provides the amazing arch support and also absorbs the impacts of when your feet hit the ground.
The slipper has a zero-drop technology to keep your heel and your toes always at the same height.
The lining of the slipper is treated with Ultra-Fresh antimicrobial treatment, which means you can wear your slippers barefoot with no fear of any unpleasant odor-related consequences.
All of these features together make for an amazing slipper. There are a few more details I’d like to mention, as always, like pros and cons:
- Extremely comfortable.
- Amazing arch support and cushioned forefoot.
- You can wear it outside.
- The rubber sole doesn’t mark the floor, and it doesn’t slip.
- As always, the price. We are talking about another high-priced product. It comes with a price tag that for many people I expect is a bit over their slipper budget.
- They’re not a slip-on slipper. It is annoying if you’re like me and likes to put your feet up on the couch while reading or watching TV?
Plantar Fasciitis Women’s Slippers
Orthaheel Women’s Relax SlipperThe Orthaheel Women’s Relax Slipper is a great option for all the ladies out there looking for their new slippers.
They are extremely adaptable thanks to the unique upper design. You can adjust the strap however you and your feet feel like.
The company used it’s unique footbed design to provide maximum support and comfort. For example, the slipper has the Tri-Planar Motion Control system, which helps to minimize pronation by keeping the foot within its natural range of motion.
The midsole is made of EVA material and is extremely effective in absorbing impact.
As it always happens with high-quality products, the features I mentioned are just a part of the story. Here are a few more details you might be interested in:
- Great arch support thanks to Orthaheel’s technology, knowledge and.
- The lining is Terry polyester, known for being extremely comfortable.
- The slipper is not only available in different colors, but also in different textures!
- Can be worn outdoors.
- Slip-on slippers, so you don’t have to bend over every time you want to put them on or take them off.
- The design is not the most eye pleasing. The slipper is not ugly, but it is the most “aesthetically challenged” on this list, in my opinion.
Haflinger Unisex AT Wool Slipper
This is an amazing slipper that can be worn both indoor and outdoor, thanks to its waterproof rubber sole.
The upper part is made of wool, which can adapt to both cold (yes, you can wear wool slippers in the summer and not break a sweat) and warm temperatures.
Haflinger Unisex AT Wool Slipper provides great arch support made of latex, to assure maximum comfort and minimum stress for your foot.
The combination of all the materials, technology and all the experience the company has on the subject of making excellent, high-quality, comfortable slippers (don’t believe me? – check out their website) is what makes this an amazing choice, especially if you’re always running in and out of the house.
Here are some additional pros and cons:
- The natural cork and latex combination provides for a firm, yet adaptable to your foot footbed.
- Your arch will be well supported in these slippers.
- The slipper is available in multiple colors.
- You can wear the slipper indoors and outdoors.
- The high-quality materials make for a very resistant product. These slippers can last years.
- Yes, you guessed it – the price is a bit up there. Although these are not as expensive, it’s something to take into consideration.
You might think that just because this is basically a sole with a strap, there’s not much that can be done Plantar Fasciitis wise. Well, I’m very happy to let you know that you’re wrong. Which, I imagine, is great news for you, since now you can stop dreading the summer and all the walking around because you either had to wear your shoes or some low-quality, not-appropriate-for-your-feet flip flops.
Plantar Fasciitis Men’s Flip Flop
OluKai Men’s Ohana Flip Flops have more to offer than you can imagine.
The footbed consists of 2 parts – the EVA compression molded midsole and ICEVA drop in. Which means that on the one hand you get great arch support, and on the other the flip flop will adapt to your foot.
And if you forget something in the house, but you’re in a lot of hurry? Don’t worry, you can run in without worrying you’ll mark the floor thanks to the non-marking rubber on the outsole of the flip flop.
And since this is a shoe you can wear to many different occasions, you’ll be happy to know it’s available in many colors to choose from and fit with the rest of your wardrobe.
This is an amazing product I think you’ll really enjoy wearing for hours at once. To further prove my point, here are the pros and cons:
- Water resistant.
- Elegant and simple design.
- Made to last, these flip flops will not let you down!
- The footbed will give you great support and adapt to your foot at the same time.
- Vegan-friendly product.
- Extremely lightweight.
- I honestly can’t find one. Even the price is more reasonable than what we’ve seen so far.
Chaco Men’s Flip Ecotread Flip-Flop
Another great alternative for those sunny hot days at the beach, in nature or in the city!
To start off, this is the first product on this list that openly works towards preserving the environment by using EcoTread 25% of recycled rubber.
For this flip flop, Chaco used its own LuvseatFootbed, which will give you the support your arch needs in combination with the comfort you want from footwear you know you’ll be wearing for hours.
The polyester upper part secures your foot in a way your foot is safe and stable but doesn’t hurt your skin.
So, to sum this amazing product up:
- Washable strap.
- Amazing arch support and extremely comfortable thanks to the LuvseatFootbed.
- Environmental friendly.
- Available in different colors and patterns.
- Available both in stores and online.
- Water resistant.
- If ordering online, be careful! As stated on Amazon, you need to order half a size up. Not really a con per se, but many times we don’t notice these small details.
Plantar Fasciitis Women’s Flip Flop
The Yumi Sandal Flip Flop brings together all the amazing features Spenco has to offer in one simple and comfortable flip flop for women.
For starters, the Compression Molded EVA Footbed assures great arch support and shock absorption you can (quite literally) take to the beach.
The forefoot part of the flip flop has additional cushioning to provide maximum comfort, along with the fact that there is no difference in height between your heels and your toes.
You can even wear these flip flops indoor since the rubber sole won’t mark your floor.
Or, if we say it in a “pros and cons” kind of language:
- Great arch support.
- Cushioning under the front part of your foot.
- Non-marking rubber soles.
- Excellent stability, thanks to Deep Heel Cupping.
- The EVA compression molded footbed provides for great support, stability and comfort since it will eventually adapt to the form of your foot.
- The flip flops are available on in full (US) sizes. According to the website, if your number is “half size”, you should order the next size up. Which might make this flip flop not be the best fit for those who don’t normally wear full (US) sizes.
Orthaheel Tide Slide In Orthopedic
If the Spenco’sYumi’s are not your cup of tea, you can also consider the Orthaheel Tide Slide In.
The EVA footbed provides excellent support and comfort and also alleviates the pain your Plantar Fasciitis might be causing you since it absorbs the impacts with every step you take.
The flip flop also has a textile upper part, which is soft on the skin and holds your foot in place.
And if you read my recommendation for slippers for women, then you’re also familiarized with the Tri-Planar Motion Control system, and you know that this amazing feature will help you keep your feet in their natural position and movement.
The flip flop is available in many different colors, so you can fit them with any of your outfits, and the TPR material that was used to make the outsole will make sure your Tide’s stay with you for a long time.
Another great product! And another pros and cons list, to keep the trend going:
- EVA footbed provides great arch support, overall comfort and absorbs impacts.
- Textile upper part, which holds your foot in place, but doesn’t damage your skin.
- Technology that helps keep your foot in place and stable.
- Made to last!
- I don’t think there are any, to be honest. This is a great, simple, amazing flip flop.
So, after so much has been shared, explained, suggested and recommended, what else can I say that I haven’t said already?
If you suffer from Plantar Fasciitis or any other kind of foot pain, I think my recommendations and my story can make a difference for you. Especially if you’re just starting to wrap your head around this condition and what it takes to alleviate the pain. Maybe you won’t like any of the suggestions I shared. Which is perfectly OK.
Because in order not to like them you have to try them first. And after you decide these don’t work for you, you’re one step closer to finding something that does; that makes your pain feel less intense.
I think that from all of my suggestions there are some points that kept popping up over and over. To be honest, after the 3rd time I wrote down the same thing I started wondering if it’s worth mentioning again and again. (I obviously decided it is since I mentioned it several times more.) And there’s one in specific I’d like to follow up here briefly.
It’s the con that almost all of the products have in common – the price. If you checked the actual prices of the products I recommended, you decided by now if the number is high or low. For me, honestly, these numbers are far from low, but I still do the math and open the wallet when I have to.
Why? Because high-quality costs.
It costs, but it also gives you the assurance that what you’re buying is good and effective.
I heard somebody say a while back “I’m too poor to buy cheap things,” and thinking back now, I couldn’t agree more.
Think about it. If you buy a good pair of shoes and wear them every day, they’ll last you for, what? Somewhere between 400-600 miles of walking, taking into account the quality of the shoe? So, let’s say that you would be paying a lot once every 500 miles (just to put a number), but you’ll be using a high-quality product that will give you a lot of comfort and support for every step.
But if you buy something cheap (and I’m not talking only about the price, but the materials as well), you’ll spend a little bit every 40 or 50 miles, and your pain will never really go away. You’ll have good days, but you’ll have awful days too.
After you walk these 300 miles, what cost you more? Not only money-wise, but also health-wise. My math was simple. It was so simple I got up, took my wallet, went to buy a good pair of flip flops (I already had the slippers and the shoes) and never looked back.
And one last thought, in case this math didn’t quite convince you. How much does your health cost? If somebody would come along and told you he wants to buy your health for whatever price you say, how much would you ask for?
I guess it would be more than what a pair of slippers from my list cost.
Try to keep in mind how these can help and work towards slowly changing your footwear. Trust me; it’s the biggest gift you can give yourself in your struggle with Plantar Fasciitis.